Scott Brown Worked to Weaken Wall Street Reform While Taking Wall Street Cash

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The Boston Globe reported Monday that while Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has bragged about his “deciding vote” to pass financial reform, he began working to weaken the legislation as soon as it passed. According to the Globe, “E-mails between Brown’s legislative director and US Treasury Department officials show that Brown advocated for a loose interpretation of the law so that banks could more easily engage in high-risk investments."

In March 2011, Brown's legislative director (who previously worked at Lehman Brothers) sent a letter to Treasury Department officials regarding the "Volcker Rule." A few months later, in June, Sen. Brown sent a similar letter directly to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. During the same period, the Senator was taking big cash from Wall Street interests that would benefit from a weakened Dodd-Frank.

Key facts:

  • From March 2011 to June 2011, Brown and his leadership PAC received at least $660,000 from the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data provided by the Sunlight Foundation.
  • Big donors during that period included the employees and PACs at Goldman Sachs ($28,900), Bridger Capital Management ($25,000), private equity firm TA Associates ($20,100), and Mitt Romney’s old private equity firm Bain Capital ($13,500).
  • He also received $70,500 from lobbyists that represented Wall Street clients such as Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, ING, and other securities and investment firms.

Last month, the Boston Globe reported that Brown has collected $2.9 million in financial industry cash. Letters and emails like those mentioned in the story yesterday may provide the reason why.